Classification of Bugs

Classification of Bugs

A guide to the Classes & Orders of insects and other arthropods.
 
The Insecta (insects) are a Class of the large animal Phylum called ARTHROPODA (arthropods) – a name that refers to the jointed limbs. The other major Classes of living arthropods (i.e. animals related to insects) include the Crustacea (crabs, lobsters, shrimps, barnacles, woodlice, etc.), the Myriapoda (millipedes, centipedes, etc.) and the Arachnida (scorpions, king crabs, spiders, mites, ticks, etc.). In addition there are several minor Classes, the Onychophora (velvet worms), Tardigrada (water bears), Pentastomida (tongue worms) and Pycnogonida (sea spiders), all of which contain somewhat aberrant living forms of uncertain affinities to the any of the preceding groups, and finally a Class of extinct arthropods, the Trilobita (trilobites), known only from their fossil remains. All these animals are characterised by a tough outer body-shell or exoskeleton, with flexible joints between the skeletal plates to allow the animal to move.
<<< GO STRAIGHT TO A CLASS OF ARTHROPODS >>>
CRUSTACEA
MINOR & EXTINCT
CLASSES

Onychophora
Tardigrada
Pentastomida
Pycnogonida
Trilobita
MYRIAPODA
ARACHNIDA
INSECTA
The main external body features which distinguish each of the four major Classes of living arthropods, Crustacea, Myriapoda, Arachnida and Insecta, are shown below (with those that separate the insects from all other groups highlighted in red).
CLASS
MAIN BODY REGIONS
PAIRS OF LEGS
PAIRS OF ANTENNAE
WINGS
CRUSTACEA
two – cephalothorax* and abdomen (some with head and trunk)
five or more
two
absent
MYRIAPODA
two – head and trunk
many – one or two per trunk segment
one
absent
ARACHNIDA
two – cephalothorax* and abdomen
four
none (though palps may resemble antennae or legs)
absent
INSECTA
three – head, thorax and abdomen
three
one
usually present (but many wingless forms)

Each of the Classes of arthropods, including the insects, are split into a number of smaller groups, which reflect progressively more detailed structural similarities between the group members. These smaller groups follow a strict hierarchy. The major class divisions in descending order of size are called Subclass, Order, Suborder, Family, Subfamily and Genus. A Genus is the smallest group of any real importance in the naming of individual species, although in some classifications generic groups may be further split into Subgenera. The scientific name of a species includes, first, the Genus to which it belongs and, second, its specific name, e.g. the European Violet Ground Beetle is called Carabus violaceus, meaning the species violaceus in the genus Carabus (by convention, generic and specific names are always printed in italics; the generic name spelt with a capital letter and the specific name with a small letter). The full classification of this insect would be as follows:

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PHYLUM:
CLASS:
SUBCLASS:
ORDER:
SUBORDER:
FAMILY:
SUBFAMILY:
GENUS:
SPECIES:
Arthropoda
Insecta
Pterygota
Coleoptera
Adephaga
Carabidae
Carabinae
Carabus
Carabus violaceus L.
arthropod
insect
winged insect
beetle
carnivorous beetle
ground beetle


violet ground beetle

Class Crustacea
Excluding one or two very small groups of shrimps, the crustaceans are split into 9 main Orders, as listed below. They nearly all live in water and range from minute planktonic shrimp-like creatures, such as water fleas, to the large, more familiar, crabs and lobsters. Some members of the Isopoda are the only forms that have really invaded the land and most of these are largely confined to damp places. Follow the available links for further details.
ORDER
COMMON NAME
1. Branchiopoda
Water Fleas (Daphnia), Fairy, Brine, Tadpole and Clam Shrimps
2. Copepoda
Water Fleas (Cyclops), Fish Lice, Gill Maggots and Anchor Worms
3. Ostracoda
Seed Shrimps
4. Cirrepedia
Barnacles
5. Stomatopoda
Mantis Shrimps
6. Mysidacea
Opossum Shrimps
7. Decapoda
Shrimps, Prawns, Lobsters, Crayfish and Crabs
8. Amphipoda
Freshwater Shrimps (Gammarus) and Sand Hoppers
9. Isopoda
Sea Slaters, Water Slaters, Water Lice and Hog Lice
    Isopoda: Oniscoidea (part)
Woodlice

Class Myriapoda
There are four groups of centipede-like creatures known collectively as myriapods. These are listed here as Orders of the Class Myriapoda, but in many arthropod classifications, they are given the status of separate Classes.
ORDER
COMMON NAME
1. Pauropoda
2. Symphyla
3. Diplopoda
Millipedes
4. Chilopoda
Centipedes

Class Arachnida
The arachnids are usually split into 8 main Orders, as listed below. Follow the available links to see examples of some of these groups.
ORDER
COMMON NAME
1. Xiphosura
King Crabs or Horseshoe Crabs
2. Pseudoscorpiones (= Chernetidea)
Pseudoscorpions or False Scorpions
3. Scorpionidea
Scorpions
4. Pedipalpi
Whip Scorpions
5. Solifuga (= Solpugae)
Wind Scorpions or Barrel Spiders
6. Opiliones (= Phalangidea)
Harvestmen or Harvest Spiders
7. Acari (= Acarina)
Mites and Ticks
8. Araneae
True Spiders

Class Insecta
The insects are generally sub-divided into 29 Orders. These are listed below with links to pages describing general characteristics, recognition features and examples of each Order. You can also follow the link at the bottom of this page for a simply identification key to most of these Orders.
ORDER
COMMON NAME
SUBCLASSES & FEATURES
1. Thysanura
Bristletails
APTERYGOTA
These are wingless insects and their body structure suggests that they have never had wings during their evolutionary history. Young stages resemble the adults – little or no metamorphosis.
2. Diplura
Two-pronged Bristletails
3. Protura
4. Collembola
Springtails
5. Ephemeroptera
Mayflies
PTERYGOTA
Division EXOPTERYGOTA
These are winged insects, although some have lost their wings during the course of evolution. When present, the wings develop externally and there is no marked change (metamorphosis) during the life cycle. The young stages, called nymphs, resemble the adults except in size and in lacking fully-developed wings – simply metamorphosis.
6. Odonata
Dragonflies
7. Plecoptera
Stoneflies
8. Grylloblattodea
9. Orthoptera
Crickets, Grasshoppers and Locusts
10. Phasmida
Stick and Leaf Insects
11. Dermaptera
Earwigs
12. Embioptera
Web-spinners
13. Dictyoptera
Cockroaches and Mantids
14. Isoptera
Termites
15. Zoraptera
16. Psocoptera
Psocids or Booklice
17. Mallophaga
Biting Lice
18. Siphunculata (= Anoplura)
Sucking Lice
19. Hemiptera
True Bugs
20. Thysanoptera
Thrips
21. Neuroptera
Alder Flies, Snake Flies and Lacewings
PTERYGOTA
Division ENDOPTERYGOTA
These are winged insects, although some have lost their wings during the course of evolution. When present, the wings develop internally (i.e. inside the body of the immature insect) and there is a marked change (metamorphosis) during the life cycle. The young stages are very different from the adults and are called larvae. The change from larva to adult takes place during a non-feeding stage called the pupa (or chrysalis) – complex metamorphosis.
22. Coleoptera
Beetles
23. Strepsiptera
Stylopids
24. Mecoptera
Scorpion Flies
25. Siphonaptera
Fleas
26. Diptera
True Flies
27. Lepidoptera
Butterflies and Moths
28. Trichoptera
Caddis Flies
29. Hymenoptera
Bees, Wasps and Ants
 ———-
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